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Cigar Review: San Lotano The Bull Robusto

15 Apr 2014

San Lotano cigars have been a hit for A.J. Fernandez, and this extension seems certain to keep the line high on the charts. The Bull lives up to its billing as a more powerful smoke, while maintaining an inviting, smooth balance. The Bull was originally distributed by the parent company of Cigars International, but has since joined the rest of the San Lotano lines offered through A.J. Fernandez Cigar’s regular distribution channels.Lotano Bull copy

Lotano BullThe filler is from Fernandez’s fields in Nicaragua, as is the binder. They’re rolled in a fine-looking dark brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that is encased in a cedar sleeve stamped with the silhouette of a bull’s head.

The Robusto, one of the three introductory vitolas, sports a hefty 54 ring gauge with the typical length of 5 inches. Befitting the premium price tag of $9.60, it’s also decked out with a black cloth foot band and is lightly box-pressed.

I haven’t come across these locally yet; the two I smoked for this review arrived in my mailbox as part of a Fernandez sampler.

I’m a fan of cedar spills and it seemed appropriate to use The Bull sleeves to light the cigars. It was a good way to start. The natural cedar mixed with an explosion of flavors that included spice in the back of the throat, some floral notes, and a pleasant metallic tone.

About halfway through, The Bull took on a darker taste. There was less spice, and the floral notes were gone, replaced by a rich tobacco fullness. But spice reappeared in the final third as the cigar continued to evolve.

Construction in the two samples was excellent, as was the burn and dark gray ash. And it’s hard to imagine a cigar producing more smoke.

Near the end, The Bull did get a bit harsh, signaling time to let it go.

For those who enjoy a full-bodied cigar, this is one you shouldn’t miss. I give the San Lotano The Bull Robusto a strong recommendation and four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Oliva Master Blends 3 Churchill

13 Apr 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Master 3

Oliva’s Master Blend line was introduced to give the manufacturer a premium offering in addition to its highly successful, more modestly priced cigars. Master Blends 3, a Nicaraguan puro with a splotchy sun-grown broadleaf wrapper and ligero filler, continues to fulfill that expectation. Back in 2010, my colleague gave the Churchill four stogies, and I wouldn’t disagree. Running about $10.50, it is a classic example of well-aged and fermented tobacco that is as smooth as a glass-bottom boat. My only reservation is the length. I can’t help but wonder whether the Robusto might be a better—and shorter—showcase.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Camacho Corojo Robusto

5 Apr 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

corojo-robusto

I’ve smoked a handful of Camacho cigars since the brand’s re-launch and have yet to find one I enjoy nearly as much as I did when they were leading the full-bodied charge years ago. Unfortunately, the Corojo Robusto (5 x 50) continues that streak. This Honduran puro, with a $7 price tag, is powerful but one-dimensional with not much in the way of flavor.

Verdict = Sell.

-George E

photo credit: Camacho Cigars

Quick Smoke: El Titan de Bronze Redemption Sungrown Habano Robusto

29 Mar 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

El Titan de Bronze

This was one of those yellow-cello, buried-in-the-humidor, didn’t-know-I-had-it, don’t-recall-where-it-came-from cigars. My best guess is that it was part of a Black Friday sampler I bought at a local shop, but it might have come from last summer’s IPCPR Trade Show. Whatever the origin, I need to get more. El Titan de Bronze Redemption Sungrown Habano Robusto is an excellent cigar. The Ecuadorian wrapper is a beautiful light brown with a lovely cedar pre-light aroma. The cigar performs excellently, with spicy and sweet touches in a smooth smoke.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Commentary: Use It, Don’t Lose It

25 Mar 2014

With StogieGuys.com heading toward its eighth anniversary in May, now seems like a good time to take a few minutes to look at the amazing amount of material stored on the site and offer some tips on how you can take advantage of it.

stogieguyssquareFirst, check out the references across the top. There, our material is curated into categories to make it easily accessible and useful, whether you’re a raw beginner or a grizzled vet. Just below and to the right is a link to information about Stogie Guys, including our policies and short bios. The Reviews Archive is alphabetized, and there’s a separate list of our top-rated smokes, along with an explanation of our reviewing system.

Around the page you’ll see ads from our advertisers, sometimes with special Stogie Guys offers. Check them out. They help keep us going.

Down the side of the page, there are links to other segments, such as the incredible A-Z Guide to Bourbon and the extensive Cigar University.

And don’t forget that little search window in the upper right of the page. Type in a topic and you’ll likely find we’ve had something to say about it. Searching for some new sticks to try? Explore our Gold Star Smokes. Interested in exploring coffee to go with your smoke? As with many topics, you’ll likely be surprised at how much we’ve written on this.

We focus on cigars, writing about them from Latin American farms and factories to conventions and get-togethers—and everywhere in-between. We take a broad view of cigar enjoyment and try to enhance the experience in any way we can. Sometimes that means delving into regulations and legislation, sometimes it’s an interview with a local tobacconist. Sometimes it is simply reflecting on the joys of a fine cigar.

Our overriding goal is to make StogieGuys.com the best site we can. That includes careful archiving and assembling material for our readers.

To that end, we’re always interested in hearing from you. If there’s anything you’d like to see, just let us know. You can always leave a comment or, if you prefer, email one of us directly.

And stay tuned. You won’t want to miss our birthday celebration!

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010

23 Mar 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

OlivaSerieV-Maduro

Yet another reason to patronize your local B&Ms: Who knows what you might run across. The other day, I was trolling through the humidor and spotted a just-opened box of Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010. How often do you get to smoke an aged, limited edition stick for MSRP ($10 in this case)? If my humidor wasn’t nearly overflowing and my wallet nearly under water, I’d have bought them all. The stick, highly sought at each annual release, lived up to its stellar reputation, though draw and smoke production dropped off in the final third. But if you stumble across these, don’t hesitate to pick up one.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Robusto

22 Mar 2014

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

This new release from Viaje Cigars fits what I often look for in a limited release: an enjoyable and memorable cigar, but not one I’d want to smoke too often. In this case, that’s partly price ($9.50 is fairly steep for a robusto), but more the strength and flavor profile. I can’t seem to find any information on the tobacco, but Leaded is strong, kicking off with a pepper blast and shifting to earth and leather midway. Then, it picks up with pepper and spice in the final half. It’s a tad rough, and the draw is loose. But the burn is excellent and smoke production top rate. If you have any interest in limited production smokes, be sure to pick one up.

Verdict = Buy.

-George E

photo credit: N/A